View Poll Results: Which of these things would improve education in the US?

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  • Longer school days

    14 16.47%
  • Longer school years

    31 36.47%
  • Better pay for teachers

    29 34.12%
  • More charter schools

    27 31.76%
  • More public vouchers for private schools

    34 40.00%
  • Weakening teachers' unions

    42 49.41%
  • More funding

    31 36.47%
  • Reallocation of funding (e.g. on a state level instead of on a district level)

    27 31.76%
  • Firing teachers who fail to perform to the standards the school board expects

    50 58.82%
  • More online education, replacing some brick-and-mortar schools

    17 20.00%
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Thread: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

  1. #241
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Interesting discussion been going on here....

    In general, it would appear that there are multiple areas in which public schooling can be improved, varying from area to area and from school to school.

    ----------------------

    The disconnect between the form of knowledge/learning that tests demand and the form of knowledge/learning that supports further learning was an interesting take.

    I would think one thing that might help would be to eliminate multiple choice and true/false tests completely, transitioning to tests that demanded you think about and solve a problem if you wished to pass.

    Granted, that would require far more investment in grading those tests, as it could not be done by computer, except perhaps in the various math’s, and even there, examining the method used to reach the answer is very useful in judging a student’s skill.

    Further, it would require that students actually learn (Why in the hell does Microsoft Word want me to change “learn” to “teach”?!? ) the subject to be capable of passing, and as a result, would require that teachers teach the subject so that the students could learn, especially if funding is at least in part based on the number of students who pass.

    ----------------------

    Another area that seems to be an issue is school leadership.

    If the principle and/or other officials are not capable, the school will suffer, to an extent mitigated by quality of teachers and parents in the area, among other factors.

    A school in an affluent area might do better despite poor leadership than a school in a poor area, but…

    And that’s another issue I see.

    Area-based public school funding (property taxes in PA fund schools) seems designed to give students who live in a rich area a leg up on those who live in poor areas. It’s pure, unadulterated bull****.



    --------------------------

    I could go on, but this post is too long already, and I don’t feel like typing more anyways…
    Education.

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  2. #242
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    You missed the most important two IF you want to catch up with other nations on international standardized test scores:

    1- a national educational curriculum where the entire USA learns the same things from the same books and materials and takes the same tests which measure what is actually learned in ever classroom in America. Until you do that, you are NOT measuring what is actually taught in classrooms or learned in classrooms since we have thousands upon thousands of different school systems devoid of uniformity in curriculum which many other nations have notably Japan.

    2- American education is a factory system where each raw material progresses down an assembly line at the same pace. That must be done away with. Teach everyone the concept of one plus one is two. Those that master it move on. Those who do not go to another teacher for another approach until they do master it before moving on. Do that with everything you teach and some kids will graduate in eight year, some in twelve years, and some in even longer periods of time. It will cost Xdollars to educate some, 1.5Xdollars to educate others and 3X dollars to educate some.
    It reminds me of my high school experience.

    At our school, the lowest A- was a 95%. The school down the highway, the lowest A- was a 90%. A 69% was an F. At the other school an F was 59%.

    Now, it's not a big deal, really - except that when applying for college, if I'd gone to school down the road, I'd have a 4.0 GPA. At my school, I had a 3.86.

    I got into the college I wanted to get into, but - how is it fair that the same work can result in different GPAs? Could it have change scholarships?

    Not to mention that my school didn't have AP courses, so I met a friend with an almost identical GPA and SAT score on my floor as a freshman. I had no credits; he was a sophomore already. But I wasn't given that option. (Note: My niece goes to my old school, and they've adjusted GPA to match surrounding schools and have AP courses. She has a 3.87 and already has 16 college credits; so they obviously got better).

  3. #243
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Interesting discussion been going on here....

    In general, it would appear that there are multiple areas in which public schooling can be improved, varying from area to area and from school to school.

    ----------------------

    The disconnect between the form of knowledge/learning that tests demand and the form of knowledge/learning that supports further learning was an interesting take.

    I would think one thing that might help would be to eliminate multiple choice and true/false tests completely, transitioning to tests that demanded you think about and solve a problem if you wished to pass.

    Granted, that would require far more investment in grading those tests, as it could not be done by computer, except perhaps in the various math’s, and even there, examining the method used to reach the answer is very useful in judging a student’s skill.

    Further, it would require that students actually learn (Why in the hell does Microsoft Word want me to change “learn” to “teach”?!? ) the subject to be capable of passing, and as a result, would require that teachers teach the subject so that the students could learn, especially if funding is at least in part based on the number of students who pass.

    ----------------------

    Another area that seems to be an issue is school leadership.

    If the principle and/or other officials are not capable, the school will suffer, to an extent mitigated by quality of teachers and parents in the area, among other factors.

    A school in an affluent area might do better despite poor leadership than a school in a poor area, but…

    And that’s another issue I see.

    Area-based public school funding (property taxes in PA fund schools) seems designed to give students who live in a rich area a leg up on those who live in poor areas. It’s pure, unadulterated bull****.



    --------------------------

    I could go on, but this post is too long already, and I don’t feel like typing more anyways…
    Many good points, Mark.
    A mistake is made in trying to economize the learning process. And this has always been a problem.
    Right now, I'd favor higher state taxes and lower property, better yet, no property taxes. Also, no more local schools, but state control...
    On the Microsoft word "word usage"...Its a problem of having illiterates do this work..English, and at much higher level should be the rule.
    And I like your "rant on and off" switch, seems as if mine is stuck on "on"....lol....

  4. #244
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    One suggestion I have is to separate sports and education. I would agree that health, physical fitness should be included.

    There is far too much of the education $ going for sports and taking away from the academic day. Coaches who have no interest in teaching are making up a good part of the staff so they can "coach".

    I appreciate the rigors of competitive sports yet it overtakes the social, academic and teaching standards.

    Sports could be part of community centers or private.

    Requiring higher standards for teachers with peer review and oversight would be an improvement as well.
    Last edited by Turin; 02-11-11 at 06:46 PM.

  5. #245
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Man... so many issues.

    There's so many ridiculous money issues. I generally support the idea of public schools and unions, but looking at things locally, public school management has horribly mis-used the money they had. I don't want to give them more money unless they can show some fiscal intelligence. As for the teacher's unions, they just seem so out of touch with what's going on in the real world.

  6. #246
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by FilmFestGuy View Post
    It reminds me of my high school experience.

    At our school, the lowest A- was a 95%. The school down the highway, the lowest A- was a 90%. A 69% was an F. At the other school an F was 59%.

    Now, it's not a big deal, really - except that when applying for college, if I'd gone to school down the road, I'd have a 4.0 GPA. At my school, I had a 3.86.

    I got into the college I wanted to get into, but - how is it fair that the same work can result in different GPAs? Could it have change scholarships?

    Not to mention that my school didn't have AP courses, so I met a friend with an almost identical GPA and SAT score on my floor as a freshman. I had no credits; he was a sophomore already. But I wasn't given that option. (Note: My niece goes to my old school, and they've adjusted GPA to match surrounding schools and have AP courses. She has a 3.87 and already has 16 college credits; so they obviously got better).
    AP courses would make a huge difference. Where I went to high school AP courses were weighted so that you could get over a 4.0 if you got an A in an AP class. Definitely does make a difference in apply to college if you were borderline, but colleges still do put quite a bit of weight into standardized ACT and SAT Tests. For example, my friend had a superior GPA than me in high school, I think his was a 4.0 or maybe above because of his AP credits, mine was around 3.6 or 3.7. However, my friend scored 19 on his ACT while I got a 28. I qualified for a large academic scholarship at the same college he went to, he didn't get anything. Just my experience though.

    Also, AP credits help out a ton, and you were definitely at a disadvantage if those were not offered. I took AP Calc, aced the test did not even have to take the math placement exam for college, also got to start at Calc 2. Huge advantage if you want to be an engineer. Kids that did not have this option had to go to school for a year just to be eligible to enter the engineering college, then they had to still take Calc 1. Your a year and a half behind without the AP option right there.

  7. #247
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    One suggestion I have is to separate sports and education. I would agree that health, physical fitness should be included.

    There is far too much of the education $ going for sports and taking away from the academic day. Coaches who have no interest in teaching are making up a good part of the staff so they can "coach".

    I appreciate the rigors of competitive sports yet it overtakes the social, academic and teaching standards.

    Sports could be part of community centers or private.

    Requiring higher standards for teachers with peer review and oversight would be an improvement as well.
    Health is good for middle/high school aged kids. They need to learn about their bodies, how to take care of it, etc. Also good for people who want to go into the medical areas. I would say PE would be good for elementary/middle school aged kids, mostly because that aged group will tend to go crazy cooked up in a building all day, they generally cannot focus as long as their older counter parts. When you get into high school though, I think sports classes should be dropped and absorbed into the after school clubs. Require kids take a few more credits of real classes instead of getting their final credits to graduate doing net sports and playing dodge ball or weight lifting their senior year. Just my opinion, as I had seen it happen all the time when I was in high school. And yes I agree, not that I have anything against these people as I was usually their friend, but it is usually the football or wrestling coaches that end up "teaching" the PE/Weights type classes in high school. They are probably the most qualified, but I really don't think that should count towards your graduation.

  8. #248
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Boys take longer to mature than girls do, both physically and intellectually. One thing that would help would be a later start for boys, perhaps requiring them to be six months older than girls to start kindergarten.

    That would cost nothing and would improve boys' performance in elementary school at least. Of course, it isn't PC, so it won't happen anyway.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  9. #249
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Boys take longer to mature than girls do, both physically and intellectually. One thing that would help would be a later start for boys, perhaps requiring them to be six months older than girls to start kindergarten.

    That would cost nothing and would improve boys' performance in elementary school at least. Of course, it isn't PC, so it won't happen anyway.
    I think you're right and would agree.

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